Motor learning theories – why should progression stop at physical?

Clinical Reasoning, Conditioning, exercise, Exercise Prescription, explicit learning, extrinsic learning, implicit learning, injury, intrinsic learning, learning, motor learning, non linear pedagogy, optimal loading, performance, Physical Therapy, Physio, Physiotherapy, podcast, rehabilitation, S&C, sport, sports medicine, treatment, youth

Plinths and Platforms


As a younger physiotherapist, I don’t think I ever consciously paid attention to the psychological aspect or power of my job. By that I mean, I didn’t read any research around it – it all seemed a bit wishy-washy and non-tangible. But quickly you realise thata verbal cue that just clicks with one patient turns intoa complex dance choreography with another.. “No, I just wanted you to bend you knee.. why are you doing the worm?”

I’ve talked before about the clinical reasoning behind exercise progression and regression and in doing so, I skimmed the surface of the addition of intrinsic & extrinsic stimuli. So now I want to build on the concepts of motor learning to underpin that exercise progression.

My inspiration for this blog came from a couple of podcasts by the PT Inquest gang, Erik Meira (@erikmeira)& JW Matheson (@EIPConsult). Well actually, first…

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